LotusFlare, mobile internet startup has raised $6 million in Series A round of funding led by Social + Capital along with seed investors Google Ventures and Metamorphic Ventures. Further to the new round, Chamath Palihapitiya will join the LotusFlare’s board.
Founded in 2014 by four Facebookers Sam Gadodia, Terry Guo and Shao Xia, started LotusFlare to make internet accessible to more people in the world. It targets at the people in the emerging markets and rural area who have never used internet on mobile. “Those are the folks who don’t have laptops. They are just starting to get on the mobile bandwagon and it’s making changes in their lives in terns of access to information and connecting with others,” said Gadodia.
As an initiative, LotusFlare has been working with carrier Globe Telecom in Philippines and its DataEye app has attracted millions of active monthly users that allows users to see how their data is being used and to spot the apps that consume more of data. This feature would allow people in developing countries to check their data spending and spend as per their disposable income. The app also allows the users to know very clearly what the consumers are getting for the money they pay. Now, it is working with both the app makers and mobile carriers to make the data more cost-effective.
In Srilanka, LotusFlare has been working with Google’s Project Loon balloons to help them distribute the Internet access in the rural areas. The company claims to make money not through users buying data through the app but by licensing the technology of its carriers. The licensing rates may vary from country to country.
“As Internet access increasingly become a human right, the issue won’t be availability – that will be solved by carriers, Google, Facebook, etc – affordability and making sure that the broadest set(s) of services are rationally priced and offered to consumers all over the world.” said Palihapitiya